This paper describes the unique challenges that students with learning disabilities (LD) experience in science studies and addresses the question of the extent to which science teachers are willing and prepared to teach in inclusive classrooms. We employed the theory of planned behavior (TPB), according to which behavioral intentions are a function of individuals’ attitudes toward the behavior, their subjective norms, and their perceived control—i.e., their perception of the simplicity and benefits of performing the behavior. The study comprised 215 junior high school science teachers, who answered a TPB-based quantitative questionnaire. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to support and enrich the findings and conclusions. We found that teachers held positive attitudes and were willing to adapt their teaching methods (perceived control), which correlated and contributed to their behavioral intention. In terms of subjective norms, however, they felt a lack of support and ongoing guidance in providing the appropriate pedagogy to meet the needs of students with LD. We therefore recommend that educational policy makers and school management devote attention and resources to providing professional training and appropriate instructional materials and to establishing frameworks for meaningful cooperation between the science teachers and special education staff. This could ensure the efficient cooperation and coordination of all the involved parties and send a positive message of support to the science teachers who are the actual implementers of change.
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Spektor-Levy, O., Yifrach, M. If Science Teachers Are Positively Inclined Toward Inclusive Education, Why Is It So Difficult?. Res Sci Educ 49, 737–766 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-017-9636-0
- Science education
- Learning disabilities
- Teachers’ perceptions
- Theory of planned behavior